You’ll find dozens of names by doing a simple online search of garage remodel contractors in your area. How do you choose the right one for your job? This proven approach will lead you to a remodel contractor that will do a great job on your garage.
Ask Friends and Neighbors
Firsthand advice is always the best advice. If someone had a good experience with a contractor for their home or garage and liked the results, jot down the contractor’s name. Ask around until you have 4-6 names to consider.
Check Online Reviews
Go to the Better Business Bureau site and research the contractors on your list. Look for red flags like “they took my deposit, and I’ve never heard from them again,” or “the siding fell off the house, and I can’t get them to return a call.” Check out Google reviews and Angie’s List for similar information. Cross off contractors with significantly bad reviews. You may read things like “they were 2 days late on completing the 3-month project.” Things like that shouldn’t disqualify them.
Meet the Contractors
Your list has probably shrunk to 2 or 3 contractors at this point. It’s time to give them a call. Most offer free estimates on projects. Invite them over to discuss your plans. You’ll get great ideas and learn a lot from talking to the pros. They’ll help you devise plans that will give you the most from your remodel project.
Ask questions: How long has the company been in business? How much experience does the crew have that will be doing the work? Are they licensed, insured and bonded? Do they do background checks and drug-test employees? Will they pull a permit? Do they hire subcontractors? When could you start? How long do you expect the job to take? How does payment work? How will you handle problems that arise with the work after you’re done? How long is the warranty on the work?
Let the contractors know you are getting several estimates. This will motivate them to provide their most competitive bid.
Most will have a photo album of their work with them or posted online. Check it out.
Get Written Estimates and Contracts
Most contractors will want a few days to crunch numbers and get back to you with their written estimates. Review the estimates to compare costs for materials and the total cost of the job.
The estimate should include a contract for you to sign if you want to accept the work. It will spell out what the contractor agrees to do, how much you’ll be asked to pay upfront and when additional payments will be due. Never agree to make full payment before the job is completed and you have had a chance to inspect it thoroughly.
Choose your Contractor
If you have a tough time deciding between two excellent options, that’s a good problem to have. Which one do you think will be easier to work with? Which one took the time to answer your questions? Which one has the more experienced crew? Which one offered the nearest start time? These are some of the questions that can help you make your final choice.